How Does Electroplating Work?

2 Oct, 2020 hitekadmin

What is electroplating?

Electroplating is the process of coating the surface of a conducting material (a material that allows electrical currents to pass through) with a thin layer of another metal through means of electrolysis. Electroplating is used because it helps protect the conducting material from wear, corrosion, and rust.

What are electroplating masking products?

Also known as anodize masking, electroplating masking products are used to cover specific areas which will be exposed in the electroplating process. This essentially means that when the metal is being covered, the electroplating masking products will protect the covered area of the item from being electroplated. Plugs, caps, dots, and masking lacquer for electroplating can all be used when electroplating. These can withstand the temperatures and conditions in an electrolytic bath. It’s important to note that electroplating masking products are not always required to be used in every case of electroplating

How does electroplating work?

Electroplating works by submerging the metal area required to be coated, known as cathode or anode, in an electrolytic bath. The electrolytic bath usually consists of a mixture of salts, as well as the metal used in the plating process. An electric current, which is unidirectional, is passed directly through the solution in the electrolytic bath. This then results in a change in the transfer of metals onto the cathode surface side of the metal, and subsequently plates metal onto the object. The cathode is the side of an electrode which electricity flows out of, whereas the anode is an electrode which electricity flows into. Therefore, cathode is generally the negative side and the anode the positive side.

What many people aren’t aware of is that electroplated products are part of our daily lives. An example of a day to day product which is electroplated is tableware. Items are electroplated to be protected against premature tarnishing or damage, hence why silverware items that haven’t been electroplated tend to rust.

What electroplating masking products are there?

Hi-Tek provide a range of electroplating masking products which include:

  • Masking & Stop Off Lacquer: we have a variety of thinners and masking lacquer for electroplating which are able to perform high resistance to acidic and difficult solutions. Some of these products are also suitable for electroplating different types of materials. Alternatively, you will find two types of wax masking electroplating options: petroleum-based low-temperature waxes and chlorinated synthetic high-temperature waxes.
  • High Temperature Masking Tape: electroplating masking tape varies from adhesive to non-adhesive options (sticky and non-sticky), and tapes for powder coating or stove enamelling.
  • Masking Tape Dots: these are used to mask off circles of a specific size (1mm increments). Masking tape dots are suitable for electroplaters, powder coaters, and stove enamellers.
  • Silicone & Vinyl Caps: whilst the silicone caps can operate to a temperature of 260°C, the vinyl caps operate to a lower maximum temperature of 170°C.
  • Tapered Plugs: our tapered silicone and rubber plugs can withstand temperatures of up to 260 °C.


Hi-Tek supply electroplating masking products to several industries, in particular the metal finishing and painting industries. For more information on our products, please contact us directly by calling 01202 661 300. Alternatively, if you wish for us to get in contact with you, please fill out our online contact form.